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Music Committee to systematize, and, as far as possible, centralize the plan of musical instruction by placing each department under a recognized head, whose duty shall be to supervise and give direction to such instruction throughout his particular sphere of duty, enlisting as his agents the regular teachers of the schools who are expected to understand and teach this equally with the other branches of school study. This has necessarily been the growth of time. Only now are we ready to recommend the extension of the plan over the lower classes of the Grammar Department. Ultimately, it is to be hoped, the same system can be adopted throughout the upper classes also, meaning by this that the Music Director shall be able, through the assistance of the masters and teachers of the classes in that grade, to communicate his instruction to every room, and not be obliged, as now, to instruct personally the several classes at one and the same time, in the large hall.
Further than this, it is the hope of your Committee, as has been many times expressed in their previous reports, that at some future day the general control and supervision of the whole plan of musical instruction in our schools shall be made to rest in one responsible and intelligent head, subject to the executive authority of the Standing Committee on Music. In the nature of things, however, we are not as yet prepared for this culmination of our plan. The exhausting personal labors of the instructor in music of the two upper classes must for a time be continued; but the large extension of his field of labor in the addition of the Roxbury District, compels us to ask for an associate teacher who shall
divide the work with him, while, at the same time this assistant shall hold himself responsible to his Principal in adopting and carrying out the existing plan of instruction.
It is recommended likewise that the musical instruction of the Roxbury High School be placed under the same direction as that of the Girls High and Normal School.
To repeat then, the present plan of musical instruction is this, to continue the instruction of the Primary Schools under the supervision of its present head, who shall teach that specialty, as now, with the aid and mainly through the agency of the regular teachers; to institute a similar supervision over the lower grades of the Grammar classes though a special teacher to be appointed by this Board; to continue the instruction of the upper classes of these schools through the personal teaching of their present head, with the aid of an associate; and lastly, to couple the Roxbury High and Girls' High and Normal schools under the personal instruction of the present imcumbent in this last named school.
And, to carry fully into effect the provisions above named, the following orders are respectfully submitted.
Ordered, That the Committee on Music be authorized and instructed to nominate for confirmation to this Board a suitably qualified person as teacher of music in the lower classes of the Grammar Schools, at a salary of twenty-five hundred dollars per
Ordered, That the salary of the teacher of music in the Roxbury
High and Girls' High and Normal schools be fixed at the rate of one thousand dollars per annum for the current school year*.
During the past year classes for Normal instruction have been formed in which the teachers of the Primary Schools under Mr. Mason, and of the Grammar Schools under the joint instruction of Mr. Eichberg and Mr. Sharland, have had opportunity to learn to teach what is required of them in music, and very many, we are happy to say, have availed themselves of the opportunities thus afforded. It is the hope of the Music Committee to again establish such Normal classes under the direction of the several special teachers of music.
The want of some suitable text-book, or manual, adapted to our plan of progressive musical instruction in the schools, has long been felt, and oftentimes expressed in these reports. Mr. Julius Eichberg, the accomplished head of this department of instruction in the Girls' High and Normal School, having signified to the Committee his intention of spending his summer vacation in Europe, was requested by them to avail himself of that opportunity to learn what he could of the operation of this department of common school education in Germany and elsewhere, and to gather, from whatsoever sources, such materials as he could, to aid, at some future day, in the publication of a proper series of musical text-books for the schools.
Mr. Eichberg was received and treated with the greatest attention and courtesy by the authorities to whom he
* These orders were referred to the Committee on Salaries.
was accredited, and acquired a fund of practical and useful information in connection with the object of his mission. These results he has placed in the hands of your Committee, in the shape of a large collection of printed documents, and, in addition, has embodied his own observations and researches in an extended and most interesting report. We make no apology, therefore, for extracting from this report, at length, such passages as our space will admit, and which, in our judgment, will tend to illustrate the whole subject:
"My chief aim," says Mr. Eichberg, in the introduction to his Report, "was to surround myself with such facts and data as I conld get from men foremost in the cause of public musical education, or of such other artists, who, without being teachers themselves, have attracted public notice, by the clearness and practical nature of their views in the matter."
"Popular musical instruction is now receiving a vastly greater attention than formerly. Its value as a civilizer of nations, its importance for the æsthetical culture of all, high and low, have never been underrated by German educators, but those intrusted to teach music in the schools were, with some exceptions, selected more for their general pedagogical than specifically musical excellence. This has been changed for the better, and music in public schools has enlisted either the active coöperation or, at least, the earnest interest of the most eminent musicians in Germany. Not only does this seem evident to me from the good musical training school-teachers are now receiving, but also from the superior character of most musical publications devoted to that end. While formerly (at a period within my own recollection) the music in use was an indiscriminate selection from works of little or no value, the recently published music-books show a vastly improved judgment on the part of their compilers."
Referring to the manner in which music is now taught in the public schools of some of the principal cities of Germany, he says:
"Music is not taught uniformly in the Hamburg public schools, but the several teachers instruct independently of system. Two music lessons, of one hour each, are given to the pupils, either by their regular, or, in the higher schools, by an appointed special teacher. In the Latin School, four-part songs, motets and chorals are sung, the lower classes singing soprano and alto, while the higher classes take the tenor and basso parts. Pupils are not allowed to sing during the mutation of the voice, but have to be present at the music lessons. Great care is taken to avoid choruses requiring great extent of vocal compass. I found here Mr. Benedict Widmann's different publications well spoken of. They are named 'Little Singing School, for the Three Divisions of Boys' and Girls' Schools,' and 'Preparatory Instruction in Singing.' These two little works (sixty-four and eighty-two pages respectively, in 12mo) contain many novel ideas on class teaching. He not only strongly advocates musical instruction in the Primary Schools, but maintains that the imitative faculties of the child render the teaching of singing far easier at an early age than it would be when the vocal organs have passed the period of their elastic softness.
"Not much has been done in Berlin, since the war, for music in schools. On arriving I presented myself to the Minister of Public Instruction, Herr Von Mühler, who directed me to the Royal Music Directors, Taubert and Ludwig Erk, as possessing the most information on the subject. The former being absent from Berlin, I applied to Mr. Erk, who holds the place of chief teacher of music at the Royal Seminary in Berlin. He gave me an extended description of the method in use at the seminary (we would call it here State Normal School). The musical requirements of a public school-teacher are the following:
(a.) Singing at sight and harmony.
(b.) Some proficiency in violin and piano playing.